The digitization of agricultural industry – a systematic literature review on agriculture 4.0

Rabiya Abbasi, Pablo Martinez Rodriguez, Rafiq Ahmad*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)
270 Downloads (Pure)


Agriculture is considered one of the most important sectors that play a strategic role in ensuring food security. However, with the increasing world's population, agri-food demands are growing — posing the need to switch from traditional agricultural methods to smart agriculture practices, also known as agriculture 4.0. To fully benefit from the potential of agriculture 4.0, it is significant to understand and address the problems and challenges associated with it. This study, therefore, aims to contribute to the development of agriculture 4.0 by investigating the emerging trends of digital technologies in the agricultural industry. For this purpose, a systematic literature review based on Protocol of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses is conducted to analyse the scientific literature related to crop farming published in the last decade. After applying the protocol, 148 papers were selected and the extent of digital technologies adoption in agriculture was examined in the context of service type, technology readiness level, and farm type. The results have shown that digital technologies such as autonomous robotic systems, internet of things, and machine learning are significantly explored and open-air farms are frequently considered in research studies (69%), contrary to indoor farms (31%). Moreover, it is observed that most use cases are still in the prototypical phase. Finally, potential roadblocks to the digitization of the agriculture sector were identified and classified at technical and socio-economic levels. This comprehensive review results in providing useful information on the current status of digital technologies in agriculture along with prospective future opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100042
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalSmart Agricultural Technology
Early online date1 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


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